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The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 25
 

The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 25

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    The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 25 The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures, ch. 25 Presentation Transcript

    • Dear reader, welcome to The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures once again! This is the 25th installment already. Last time when we left off, Beth Cameron received a peculiar phone call at work, in the Mayor's office. The same evening, the phone rang at the Bookacy family main house. Adrian picked the phone up. "Hello? Adrian Bookacy speaking." ... "Hi sweetie, good to hear..." ... "Okay, honey. Don't panic. Take a deep breath and tell me what's happened."
    • "... and he got upset when you mentioned Dad's name. What happened then?" ... "Okay. It does sound like it was him. I can see why he would be interested in Paranormal stuff, and also why he'd be upset if he found out there's a law that prevents him from getting to the field." ... "Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. We have to take precautions. Thanks for warning us."
    • "Well, first off I'll talk to Nicole. She's very good at these things. Then, we'll talk to the rest of the family so they know. And especially, we'll talk to George. He should know that the madman is on the move again, so he can stay alert." ... "Yeah, I'll also call Arthur. Tomorrow the latest. He and the rest of the family in the police forces should know. They can then further spread the word. There's no way he's gonna get at us!"
    • "Now sweetie, you've given the warning, so no need to panic "Okay, good. Call me again when you get home, alright? I'll go anymore. Are you sure you're alright? He didn't threaten you, did alert Nicole now." he?" ... ... "Love you too, sweetie. Bye!" "Good. Now try to calm down, okay? Salahuddin Chamcha is not going to be able to hurt us." ... "Yes, that's my girl. Now, if you're feeling the slightest bit unsafe, then call Sean and ask him to pick you up from work, and your assistant too if she hasn't left already. You know what, I think I'd do that no matter what." ...
    • Despite the worrying turn of events, life in the Bookacy Legacy family main went on in a fairly normal way. Sure, the family got warned, and George got new instructions to guard the premises against nightly visitors. The word spread among the extended family. But otherwise things were fairly normal. Marylena kept advancing in her new career and earning money.
    • The kids were still in awe of the recent vacation on Twikkii Island.
    • Hard work for Baudolino's fourth top ranked business continued.
    • This sometimes included some manly bonding...
    • ... and giving makeovers as often as possible. Nicole was determined to finally gain that gold makeover badge. And this time, she did finally make it. She was very pleased.
    • Doesn't a Mahjong table fit the business idea of a spa almost as well as a treadmill? No? Well, too bad. We bought one anyway. And it's way better for the business.
    • I was browsing my sims' inventories, and was surprised to find there some snapdragons - no doubt in the purpose to be put to use in the businesses. So that's what I did. I'd completely forgotten we had those. Well, now at least all the hard work is a little easier, isn't it, Baudolino? "... and my father is quite the cook, although he usually only makes grilled cheese sandwiches, of course..." Never mind.
    • Whoa, there, George! What on Earth are you doing? That doesn't look like an admire! "Miss Creator, I was just... err..." Never mind. I saw it was a charm. And you don't even have and ACR token – for exactly this reason! I know you're dying for a sweetheart of your own, but please try to hang on until I have time to help you with that okay? And now make it up to the customer, before he docks us stars!
    • And then. George did not have to wait long. It was the very same evening when fate stepped in, it seemed. In the form of Count Pao Howe.
    • George, what are you doing? "Only admiring our beautiful Best of the Best award, miss Creator. Why do you ask?" Well, there appears to be an interested customer behind your back.
    • George easily managed to Dazzle the count in, and I initiated a conversation, just in case George would have one of his admire-everything-that-moves attacks – the stars, remember?
    • From there on, it was fate. As it happens, George has Author's turn ons, and offs, which, not surprisingly, happen to match the count. They are both pleasure sims, and immortals. Even their personalities are quite a reasonable match.
    • The count even accepted George's first admire. How made for each other are these two?
    • George had a very definite opinion about that.
    • George and Count Pao socialized – on their own, may I add – most of the night. In the morning the count had to flee, and he did so with a wide grin on his face.
    • The next day seemed to be some kind of a bring a relative -day. Clarissa showed up.
    • As did Clyde, her twin brother (right), and Carl. Oh, and who's that on the background with the soda can?
    • Yep, it's Chip. The teenagers seemed to quite enjoy the atmosphere of the spa.
    • In fact, so much that we received the needed stars to get it to level 5.
    • Relatives were also occasionally seen in the Bookacy family main house. Especially Charlie was getting along great with the Custer girls.
    • Or well, at least he thought so. I've never seen anyone get aspiration from giving a noogie before, by the way. I didn't have time to see what it was that he wanted, but apparently he quite enjoyed the noogie. Corinna didn't agree, though.
    • With the prospects of noogies being pretty high, perhaps it's actually Chunni that attracts the cousins enough to come over.
    • Charlie also got to go Downtown one of these days. He wanted to meet some girls, so we could get started on that lifetime want of his. Fifty first dates has the plus side that despite being a romantic type of want, what you do as a teen still counts. After some searching, Charlie did manage to meet Cassidy Kearney. They seemed to get along nicely.
    • When he asked her on a date, though, she was less than impressed. Little did the poor girl know that Charlie happens to have a Creator who doesn't take a no for an answer. Nah. Sorry about that Charlie. We'll try again later.
    • It was not only Charlie who wanted to meet girls on his free time. "Hey Dad." "Yeah, Cyrus?" "I was wondering... if I could go out tonight. I've been studying pretty hard for the scholarships lately and I feel kinda burned out. And I've already finished my homework, too." "I guess there's a girl involved?" "Well... Yeah, well, I was thinking I'd go with Opal, and she's a girl. Just as friends, though", Cyrus added hastily when he saw a smile forming on Baudolino's face.
    • "Well sure, I don't see why not. If it doesn't interfere with school, I think it's only good for you to get out of the house every now and then. Don't you agree, honey?" "Absolutely. Even if this Chamcha guy is out there planning to get to us, we can't possibly lock the kids inside. Just remember to watch out for strangers and don't be too late, alright?" Marylena added to Cyrus. "Okay, Mom. Thanks, guys. I'll go quickly go call Opal yet before dinner."
    • Even bad chance cards do not cease in the later stages of a Legacy. Sorry about the demotion, Adrian! Don't worry, we can fix it the next time you go to work.
    • Charlie wanted to get fit, and as a side result he maximized body. I'm thinking this is probably the first time I've had a teen max a skill. I usually don't push any skill beyond level eight at this point, because it's the scholarships I'm mostly after.
    • Hey there, George. I heard you singing while I was on the other side of the house. Feeling happy, I take it? "He said yes! He said yes..." He? Yes to what? Oh, do you mean...
    • It turned out that yes, he meant Count Pao. "Nice to meet you again, Count. I was very pleased that you accepted my suggestion." "My pleasure, mr. Bookacy, absolutely my pleasure! May I ask that you call me Pao?" "Only if you call me George in return." "I'd be delighted to." Ummm George, by the way... Do you think the count looks somehow... hmm... familiar? "You mean we would have met him before he crossed paths with me in mr. Bookacy junior's spa? No, I do not think so." Oh. Maybe I was mistaken then. I have this funny feeling though... Never mind.
    • "I wonder if we should go inside and enjoy a nice dinner. I do think that is commonplace to do so on these occasions." "That would be absolutely wonderful, George!"
    • So while technically neither George nor the count needed to consume food, they headed inside and enjoyed a very nice dinner together, and had a lively discussion about all kinds of matters as well.
    • After dinner the two went ahead and used the photo booth in Bertrand's Botanical Dining – for its originally intended purpose. They both liked the results very much.
    • The date continued with fun activities, such as pillow fighting and other games. George and the count also enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
    • The evening had long ago turned into night, and in fact the morning was closing in, so it was time to say goodbye. "I have truly enjoyed the evening, Pao. I hope it is not too bold to ask if I could possibly ask you to wine and dine again?" "Not at all! In fact, George, I would not object to boldness at all", the count replied with a hint of a smile. "Splendid! I suppose I will be calling you shortly again, then." "Please do!"
    • Back at home Adrian was clearly showing off some of our new shinies. He'd been pretty into reading lately, and now he was reading at every opportunity, like walking from point A to point B. He'd also gained the secondary aspiration of Fortune, because that's what his non- cheese wants seemed to indicate. I think he's taking after his wife there.
    • Cyrus was happy getting to spend some time with Opal. And to get out of the house every now and then was a plus, too.
    • When the weather slowly got chillier, the family decided to build a small greenhouse in the backyard. The elders felt like they needed something new to do with their spare time. Gardening was fun, and the potential benefits also tempted the Bookacies. Not to mention Creator, of course.
    • Marylena still worked hard on earning those 100 000 simoleans. Whenever she had time and needed relaxation, though, she'd usually practice playing the piano.
    • Cho needed an aspiration boost, so she decided to have another date with Luc. He was always fun to be with, and his wants in life were somewhat similar to hers, so why not.
    • Charlie, too, got the permission to go out with a friend. Said friend, Cassidy Kearney, seemed to be somewhat wealthier than Cyrus' buddy Opal. Hey Charlie, I thought you were going to ask Cassidy out? "Well, I still am. But she's the type you'd better just hang out with first, you know, get to know her." I suppose.
    • Cho and Luc had a very fun night. First they chatted a little on the sidewalk, and after that Cho invited her guest inside from the cold. The two were so engaged in their activities that they actually forgot to take off their outwear.
    • By the end of the night, there was young love in the air.
    • Cyrus, for his part, decided that it was time to find a job in addition to school. That way he would get some earnings of his own, and most importantly, if he did it well, there would be a college scholarship involved.
    • Late in the evening, two guests met at the side entrance of the basement. "Good evening, young man. Delivering flowers, I see." "Oh, hi there. Yeah, had a date with this girl who lives here. How about you, bringing the roses too?" "Yes. Or in fact, I also brought a stereo. Well, now I think I should go. Good night, young man!"
    • Not long afterward, the first snowflakes started falling. It seemed the first winter of Alphabetia was arriving for real.
    • One day in the early winter, Nicole asked Marylena to join her in the dining room. "Marylena dear, I have something to tell you", she started. "As you know, I own a business from my younger days, a venue with quite a nice ranking." Marylena nodded. "Yes, I remember you mentioning it before, mrs... I mean, Nicole." "Yes. Now it is so that I am getting too old to take care of a business of my own, and am quite happy to only help Baudolino with his business ambitions. So it is time for me to give the ownership of the business forward. I was originally going to give it to Bill, who, though technically not my son, is like a son to me, and me and Adrian considered it fair to give both our business minded boys the equal amount of help. Beth has been helped in other ways." Marylena nodded again, then her brow furrowed. "Were going to? Aren't you giving it to him after all?" "I am coming to that."
    • "You see, Marylena, it turned out that I am unable to give the business to Bill as I intended to. This seems to be because he is no longer a member of the household. I was very sorry that I did not know this earlier, of course", Nicole explained. "However", she went on, "I have spoken to Bill about this, and he had a suggestion for me. He said that he and Ira are quite well off, and are going to manage the two remaining businesses for his lifetime want just fine. But he could think of someone who would need and deserve some help from us. And having heard Bill's suggestion, I had to agree with it. Naturally, that someone I am speaking about, would be you, Marylena." "Me?" "Yes, dearie. You could use a little bit of help with that respectable amount of money you are planning to earn for the family. And as Baudolino's wife, you are at least as much my daughter as Bill is my son. So I would like you to have my old business, if you don't object."
    • Marylena laughed. "Well, how could I object to an offer that genuine? Thank you Nicole, I really appreciate it." "Don't mention it, my dear. I am always pleased to help the younger ones where I can. Now I only have to figure out what we, myself and Adrian, can do for Bill and Ira."
    • Marylena was very pleased to have a business of her own. She would visit it as soon as possible, and probably ask Baudolino or George to come along to help. But for now, the garden was in bad shape and required some maintenance
    • Eventually also Charlie got some want fulfillment That is, Cassidy Kearney did eventually agree to go on a date with him. "So Cassidy, it isn't so bad after all, is it?" "Well, no, Charlie, it isn't. I just don't date complete strangers you know."
    • They had a fun date, complete with dancing, jokes and just hanging out in general. Perhaps it wasn't the most romantic date one could think of, but that didn't really matter to either of them.
    • "Hey sis, what's your aspiration again? Are you actually gaining aspiration from skilling?" "You say it like it's a bad thing." "Not really, I'm just a little confused." "Well, I didn't know anything about cleaning so I thought it would be nice to. Who knows what my secondary aspiration will be, it might get useful. Besides, C is making us skill anyway, so I thought I might as well enjoy it."
    • In the first heavier snowfall of the winter, Adrian came home with the promotion back to Icon. Things were again as they should be.
    • It was an early winter evening in the Chamcha residence. Aadam Bookacy was alone in his room, staring at the opposite wall. Every now and then he'd get uncomfortable and shift positions, and then continue staring at the most convenient available target. It had been a long time that he'd been trapped in this house with his father. He'd first been looking for a job in the Paranormal career track. That had been unsuccessful, and his father had taken up calling the politicians of Alphabetia. Since then Aadam had been doing practically nothing. And again it had been weeks since he'd last seen his fiancee and two daughters. Aadam didn't really believe that Salahuddin would get a hold of anyone important to tell him what was going on with the Paranormal track. He didn't like that. That meant he would just have to continue life as it was, which wasn't much of a life. On the other hand, what if Salahuddin did catch a hold of someone? Aadam liked that alternative even less.
    • A knock on the door awoke Aadam from his misery. "Come in", he called to his father, not bothering to look up from his current position where he could conveniently stare at the floor. He knew it would be best not to show his unhappiness about the situation, but he couldn't help it anymore. Salahuddin stepped in. "Good evening, son. I have some news for you." "Yeah?" "A short time ago, I have been able to reach someone." That finally made Aadam look up.
    • "... and it appears that this law is what has been preventing you "What? Go? Go where? Why?" from obtaining a position in the Paranormal career." "There is no time, son. Just follow me. We have business to "Oh. Well that would explain it. I would never have thought there is attend to." a law like that." "There was not, until relatively recently. The young lady I spoke to, accidentally I'm sure, slipped out that the law was the doings of the previous Mayor, Count Curtis Bookacy." "Oh. So he's been foreseeing your want to resurrect Mom, then." "So it would seem." "Well, then I guess there's no way to..." "There is always a way, Aadam. Now, come, we must go."
    • He's got a plan. Why does he always have a plan? It's never been anything good.
    • The doorbell rang in the Bruenig household. Marsha happened to be in the living room, studying. She called "I'll get it" to the rest of the family, then headed for the door, wondering who it could be at this hour.
    • Bailey was in the couple's bedroom. It was his turn to clean up, and he was making the bed when the doorbell rang. He heard his wife calling she'd get the door, then footsteps, then the door open and shortly close. He heard talking on the porch, but couldn't hear who was talking or what was being said. He shrugged and went on to the other side of the bed to straighten the sheets. Probably just one of Marsha's numerous friends. Then he happened to glance out of the window, and what he saw stopped him in his tracks.
    • There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary really about what Bailey saw. There were two men on the porch, and his wife gave them both a fierce hug. Bailey was lost in his thoughts for a while. Neither of the men on the porch could possibly see him from where he was standing, and they seemed completely concentrated on Marsha. One of the men seemed extremely pale, though his back was towards Bailey. His skin tone actually seemed almost blue, and Bailey thought maybe his eyes were playing tricks on him. Then he looked closer at the other man. He suddenly recognized the man though he'd first thought of him as a complete stranger. It was Aadam, Marsha's friend who was actually Bailey's uncle as well. He didn't know Aadam well, but he'd met him in his own wedding. Bailey's mind worked hard while the three people on the porch kept on talking. He had a faint recollection of something his father had talked about a long time ago. If only he remembered. Suddenly, Bailey knew who the other man was.
    • Quietly Bailey moved from the bedroom to the living room. When he got there, he saw that the two men were already leaving, and Marsha was going with them. This was not like Marsha at all. Apparently she knew both the men very well, but still, she never went anywhere without telling him first. Unless she wasn't going far. Bailey took one more look at the backs of the men, then called for his son.
    • Chip peeked his head through the kids' room door. "Yeah, Dad?" Bailey gestured his son to come to the living room. Chip came. "Chip, I need you to do me a favor." "Okay, Dad, I'm listening." "I need to make a few phone calls and then I'll be going out. I don't know how long it'll take. I need you to carefully lock the doors and windows, and stay inside with Cissy for tonight. Do not let anyone inside unless it's me or your mother."
    • Chip looked a little confused. "But... Why? Is there something wrong, Dad?" Bailey sighed. "There might be, I'm afraid. Look, I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to explain right now, but I will later, I promise. Now I just need you to promise that you'll lock the doors and look after your sister." "Okay, Dad. I promise."
    • Marsha stood on the sidewalk next to her best friend's house. She was grinning widely. "I still can't believe you could finally find the time to meet her, mr Chamcha! I've wanted you two to meet for such a long time, but it's never worked out. I'm so excited!" "Yes, yes, Marsha dear, I do believe it is time for us to meet." Aadam just stood there and said nothing. He couldn't say anything. He had tried to warn her, but never gotten a proper chance. She doesn't know. She's never realized the connection. How can that possibly be?
    • "... and in fact, there are some work related matters I would need to discuss with her, first, Marsha. So why would you not wait, say, on the back yard with Aadam? If it is not too cold, of course." What is it that he's planning? I can't see any sense in this. "But of course, mr Chamcha! It's so funny you should actually know Beth from work already! You've never mentioned it!" "Well, it has been only recently that I have come to contact her. That is actually quite surprising, taken that Crime and Politics actually have a lot to do with each other. But, if you do not mind, I will go and have a chat about work matters with Beth first, and call you over when we are done."
    • "That's fine, mr Chamcha! Actually, I already know what we can do with Aadam. Beth and Sean built themselves a pool in the autumn, and I've only gotten a chance to try it once. It's heated and all, it was pretty amazing!" "That does sound wonderful, Marsha dear." "I have a swimming suit with me and all, I did some swimming training today at work. So it'll be just great!" "Excellent, Marsha dear. I will be calling you shortly, then." "Okay, mr Chamcha! Aadam, come on, let's go!"
    • Beth Cameron heard the doorbell ring. She got up from the couch where she'd been sitting, reading some work related papers, and headed for the door. Who could it be at this hour? Sean was working late, and Carl was out with some friends. Maybe one of the was coming earlier than usual and had forgotten the keys. Or maybe it was Marsha. She'd promised to come by soon and return the book she'd borrowed last week.
    • When she opened the door, Beth's heart skipped a beat. She'd never seen the man who had fallen in love with her grandmother, gotten disappointed, suffered her death and apparently gone mad thereafter, but somehow she knew immediately who she was facing. It wasn't too late. She could have slammed the door shut, turned on all alarms and called the police, but she didn't. When she had gotten the threatening phone call from the very same man weeks ago, she had been horrified. Now, she somehow knew no fear. She stepped outside. "Mr Smith, I presume. Or should I rather say, mr Chamcha?"
    • "And you must be mrs Cameron, I believe. We had a phone conversation a short time ago." Salahuddin was not surprised that she'd recognized him. "What do you want?" "I would think that you, in fact, know very well what I desire, mrs Cameron." "You want a Resurrect-O-Nomitron."
    • "That is, indeed, my ultimate goal. But for the time being, I would be fully satisfied with a position in the Paranormal field." "You know I can't bypass the regulations, mr Chamcha." "'Can't' or 'won't', mrs Cameron?" "Both. I can't, because it'd be very unethical of me as Mayor to bypass our own laws, and I could get in bad trouble if I did. And I won't, for the same reason. Not to mention that you'd use the chance to harm my family." "That is a rather unsurprising answer, mrs Cameron." "Isn't it? You knew the answer'd be no, and it is no. Now, if you think you can scare me into doing as you want by showing up at my door..."
    • "But I do not, mrs Cameron, do I? I believe I have something better than that up my sleeve. I would suggest that you kindly follow me into the back yard."
    • In said back yard, Aadam was standing by the swimming pool, feeling cold and extremely helpless. He crossed his arms against his chest, hoping that'd stop him from shivering. It didn't. "Marsha, can't you please get out of the pool?" he begged again, "I don't think it's safe..." Dad could be back any minute. How can I even start to explain it all? And how can we escape if I can't even get her out of the pool?
    • "But Aadam!" said Marsha as she surfaced again, "This is so much fun! Stop worrying so much and try it! It's perfectly safe, I won't even catch the flu – I'm in tip top shape and the pool is heated. It's actually warmer than last time I think, then I..."
    • Right then the two of them heard footsteps. Salahuddin and Beth came from the front yard, dragging their feet in the deepening snow. "As you can see, mrs Cameron, I have someone here whom you already know, do you not?"
    • "Marsha!" Beth's alarmed tone stopped Marsha in her tracks. She didn't understand. "I see you have already realized", said Salahuddin calmly, "what kind of ways I may have get what I desire."
    • He left Beth standing there, deeply worried, and started walking towards the ladder of the pool. "Aadam, over here."
    • "Beth? What's going on?" Marsha had finally gotten her voice back. "As you can see, mrs Cameron", Salahuddin said as he and Aadam both reached the pool ladder, "I have quite a simple way to persuade you. I am asking you again, would you perhaps change your mind?" Beth was now shaking. She needed to win time. "No. I can't. You know I can't." "Can't what?" asked Marsha, desperately trying to understand what was going on. "Help him get into the Paranormal track, so he can try and disturb the dead, and cause harm to my family", Beth said before Salahuddin could say another word, "And if I don't... He's... he's threatening you", she added, quietly.
    • Salahuddin let the silence go on for a while, then asked: "Is that your final word, mrs Cameron?" Beth's lips were quivering. She was about to say something, but Marsha interrupted her before she could. "Beth, don't do anything he asks!" For a moment, everyone was too surprised to say anything. "Don't do it!" The expression on her face was tough, tougher than any of them could have imagined. Behind the eyes, Beth thought she could see a dawning understanding. "If it comes to that, I'll rather die than let him hurt your family", Marsha spat out, turning to throw a burning look at Salahuddin. He didn't react. Instead, he glanced at Beth and asked, "Is this your final stand, mrs. Cameron?" Beth was unable to speak. Salahuddin dug something out of his pocket, threw it at his son. "Aadam, detach the ladder."
    • "What?" "You heard me, Aadam. Detach the ladder."
    • "No." "What did you say, son?" "No. You're asking me to hurt a sim, Dad. And of all sims, Marsha. I'm not taking part in this madness." "Are you disobeying me?" "Yeah, I think I am."
    • "Do not think you can disobey me in this Aadam. This is crucial for our success, you fool!" "Dad, I don't think..." "Enough! Do it!" Aadam did not make a move. "Either you will do as I say, or it will be you. Not only you, but Joy as well. Do not think I cannot find her."
    • So this is what we've come to.
    • In perfect silence, Aadam set to work on the ladder. He would have wanted to say something to Marsha, but felt that he was doing something one can't even apologize for. You stupid coward.
    • After he was done, Aadam threw the ladder somewhere behind him, where it quickly started to cover in snow. Then he covered his face in his hands and cried.
    • "Aadam, you've done the right thing!" called Marsha from the pool, still proud. But they could hear her confidence was shaking. "Now, then, mrs Cameron, I am asking you again. Will you help me to achieve a position in the Paranormal career?" Beth was silent for a long while. She kept glancing back and forth at her best friend and the ladder that was now barely visible beneath the snow. There were no options.
    • She sighed. "Okay, fine! I'll do anything. Just please don't let her drown. Please."
    • "I knew this matter would be negotiable. I am pleased with the result, mrs Cameron. Now would you please move over here so I can be sure that..." "Not so fast, Chamcha!"
    • Salahuddin recognized that voice. He'd heard it before, in a very similar situation. It was Arthur Thayer, now a Captain Hero, with two younger men with him. Again the man was interfering with his plans.
    • *hisss* "Damn you, Arthur Thayer!"
    • "Bailey? Bailey! Thank goodness! Please help, I can't keep swimming much longer!" Marsha cried.
    • "Fast, Bailey, to the pool! The board is on the other end!" barked Arthur his commands. "I'm on my way", replied Bailey and changed directions. "Aadam, don't just stand there! Get the ladder, fast! You heard her, she's getting tired!"
    • Aadam was immediately woken up from his numb, motionless state. He had to frantically search for a few moments, but he found the ladder in the snow, and he and Arthur set to work, hearts bouncing. There's still hope.
    • Bailey had run to the other side of the pool, tossed his sweater to Beth on the way, and now dove into the pool and started swimming with fast, steady moves towards his wife. Marsha was tired and she'd gotten scared by the incident, but she was a strong woman and a good swimmer. She was going to manage just fine. The ladder was back in place in a matter of moments, and Arthur and Aadam held it steady just in case while Bailey helped pull Marsha out of the water.
    • Marsha was alright, if a little freaked out. "Bailey, oh Bailey!" she said in a barely audible whisper, holding back a sob, "Thank goodness you came! I don't know what would..." "Shush, honey, it's okay." Then Marsha saw Beth, who was standing a short distance away. She turned to face her, still holding onto Bailey's neck. "Beth? Are you okay?" Beth nodded, numbed by emotion. "Come here", Marsha said quietly, and soon Beth had become an integral part of the bundle of three. The moment might not ever have ended, had Bailey not opened his mouth. "Hey, we can continue this mushy stuff later, girls. We have to get you inside, honey, before you freeze in that swimming suit!"
    • Bailey promised to take care of the ladies and the three went inside. Three men were left outside in the snowfall. A huge relief had swiped over all of them. Aadam was the first to realize it. "Hey... Where's Dad?"
    • "Salahuddin?" said Sean, uncertainly, "Yeah, it was a fuss when we were all running towards the pool for Marsha, and then I was with Beth making sure she was okay and..." "Get to the point", said Arthur, with a hint of worry in his voice. "Well... I think I saw a flash of purple when I was running towards the pool. I think Beth saw it too." "A flash of purple, and perhaps a small bat coming out of it?" asked Aadam. "Well, it could have been that, yeah."
    • Now he's done it. He left me behind. "We have to find him."
    • It was getting late, and Cyrus Bookacy had finally finished his shift. It had been a long day at school and work, and he wanted nothing more than to fall in his bed and sleep.
    • He stepped on the sidewalk and enjoyed the beautiful winter night for a little while. He couldn't stay long, though, as he'd left for work in his inwear. It seemed that the snowfall was getting heavier.
    • Unheard by anyone, there was a quiet poof on the corner of the lot. The rest of the family was inside, already sleeping or getting ready for bed, and Cyrus was too enchanted by the snow to notice the peculiar fact that a small bat had just suddenly become a man behind his back. Cursed police officers! I would have succeeded without the ever intruding Arthur Thayer!
    • Properly fenced as I expected. I assume that the alarm system is state of the art as well. There is no use trying to enter by force, not without proper means at least. But surely there must be a way... Such intruding behavior must not go unpunished!
    • But well, well, well. I cannot believe my luck. Can that possibly be...
    • ... a young Bookacy, momentarily outside the protection of the mansion, blissfully unaware of my presence? I may have not achieved what I desire, but at least next time they shall know better than to intrude!
    • "Good evening, son." "Whoah! You scared me, sir! You should not... Hey, wait. Aren't you..." "Son, I would like to request something."
    • "Would you kindly look into my eyes, please? Thank you, son."
    • "Mwhahahahaaa! There, you obnoxious little Legacy brat!"
    • "What... what happened? How... how come I feel dizzy?"
    • "Ouch! That hurts! Ow!"
    • "GRAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!"
    • Inside, George Bookacy had turned himself off for the night, having done all chores possibly imaginable. His censors, however, were still working perfectly.
    • "What was that noise?"
    • George rushed through the hall and living room, and bursted through the front door within seconds. "Young mr Bookacy, are you alright? What is the matter?"
    • "He... he... he did.. something... George, help!" "What, a security robot? The family certainly is well prepared, I must say. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be enough. Farewell, you fools!"
    • George rushed after the bat, but knowing all too well that his attempt would be futile.
    • Cyrus, meanwhile, was still standing on the sidewalk. "Wow, that was scary. That guy must have been... And a vampire, too. Didn't realize he was a vampire." He shuddered. "But then, he must've..."
    • "Noooooo! MOM! DAD!" And this, dear reader, is where I leave you this time. Do not worry though, as this is indeed a double update. So, thank you for reading and look for chapter 26 on a Dreamwidth account near you very soon. Until then, happy simming!